Nigeria: governor partly repeals Ekuri Forest land grab

Ekuri people protesting the "superhighway" project Ekuri people protesting the planned "superhighway" (© Robert/ Tunde Morakinyo)

Feb 17, 2017

The struggle of the Ekuri people is paying off: the governor of Nigeria's Cross River state is returning vast swathes of rainforest land to the community. 5,200 square km had been appropriated for a a 20 km wide corridor along a planned "superhighway". The road itself is not off the table yet, however.

The Ekuri indigenous community is staunchly resisting Cross River state's unprecedented land grab – a corridor 260 km long and 20 km wide. Had it gone through, the inhabitants of more than 185 villages would have lost their land, their forest and their livelihoods with a stroke of the pen. Conservationists fear that the governor intended to open up the corridor – which would have crossed through several protected areas, including Cross River National Park – to timber companies.

Despite this initial success, the planned “superhighway” project has not been canceled. Even without the corridor, the new road would slice up the rainforest and give illegal loggers and poachers easy access. Men were recently observed inspecting a section of the planned route – a possible sign that forest will soon be cleared for the project.

The residents of Ekuri Forest are remaining vigilant and our partners of the Ekuri Initiative and the NGO Devcon will not give up the struggle until this "superhighway to nowhere" has been canceled once and for all.

Please sign our petition and show your support for the guardians of Ekuri Forest.